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Best Credit Cards with Loyalty Programs in Canada

Person making a purchase at sports store using a credit card

If you will drive an extra kilometre to go to your favourite gas station, go out of your way to shop at your go-to grocery store, or habitually hit up the same entertainment, then you may consider yourself to be a routine shopper. Your favourite brands may even reward you for your reliable nature. Not only do many retailers have loyalty rewards programs, some also offer rewards credit cards. This means you may be able to double-dip on points or rewards and earn free merchandise faster.

It may be time to consider where you shop, how often, and if using a loyalty rewards credit card can work in your favour. Here are the eight best credit cards that reward you for your brand loyalty:

Our Top Picks

  • Scotiabank® GM®* VISA* Infinite Card: This card is for the GM, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC fan. Earn 5% back on all purchases for the first $10,000 annually, and 2% after. Redeem your GM Earnings, at a GM Dealer, toward the purchase price or lease down payment on a vehicle.
  • The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card: This card is great for the business person or frequent traveller. Earn points at Marriott hotels and associated brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Delta, Sheraton, Four Points, Westin, and many more.
  • BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*: Earn rewards when you shop at AIR MILES partners, which includes a number of hotels, car rental companies, grocery stores, and more.
  • President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard: If you shop exclusively at President’s Choice Financial stores, like Loblaws, the Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, as well as participating Esso and Mobile gas locations, this card can be really rewarding.
  • SCENE®* VISA* Card: Calling all Cineplex movie lovers; you can earn free flicks from every day buys and Cineplex purchases in theatre and at home.
  • Walmart Mastercard®: If you are a Walmart regular, you can earn Walmart Reward Dollars to spend in-store and online with this card.
  • Shell® CashBack World Mastercard®* from BMO: It may seem like you are always filling up your gas tank, so why not earn cash back when topping-up at Shell locations? This card features a strong cash back rate (1.25%) on all other purchases as well!
  • Triangle™ Mastercard®: This card not only offers rewards but also finance options if you shop at Canadian Tire, Mark’s, Sport Chek, Atmosphere, and other participating stores.

Pro-tip: If you use a secondary card to keep track of your work expenses, strong loyalty cards like The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card can be a great way to rack up points in a very specific spend category.


Scotiabank® GM®* VISA* Infinite Card

Scotiabank GM VISA Infinite Card

The Scotiabank® GM®* VISA* Infinite Card rewards you for your everyday purchases at an extraordinary rate. According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian spends roughly $19,200 a year on their credit card. That means, with the Scotiabank® GM®* VISA* Infinite Card, the average Canadian could see a return of $1,289 in GM Earnings within the first two years.

GM Earnings can be used toward the purchase price of a new GM, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, or GMC vehicle, or toward a down payment on a leased vehicle from one of these brands.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card, or loan for at least six years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$79

Supplementary cards have an annual fee of $39 each.

*Annual fee is waived for the primary and supplementary cardholders for the first year. Eligible accounts must be opened by March 1, 2020.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • No welcome offer.

Rewards:

  • Earn 5% in GM Earnings on the first $10,000 spent on the card annually.
  • Earn 2% in GM Earnings on everything after the initial $10,000 spent annually.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $1368.00 GM Earnings
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $79
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,289.00

You can redeem your points:

  • Toward the purchase price of your new vehicle (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac).
  • Toward the down payment of your leased vehicle (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac).

Insurance:

  • Travel emergency medical insurance.
  • Trip interruption insurance.
  • Flight delay.
  • Delayed and lost baggage.
  • Rental car collision/loss damage insurance.
  • Up to $500,000 common carrier travel accident insurance.
  • Purchase security.
  • Extended warranty.

Other perks:

  • Enjoy up to 25% off base rates at participating Avis and Budget locations across Canada and the U.S.
  • Access Scotia® Credit Card Cheques to pay for large purchases (treated as a cash advance and is subject to a rate of 22.99% from the transaction date, until the amount is paid in full).

Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Cardholders of the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card can enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. Elite benefits include priority late checkout, a dedicated reservation line, free Wi-Fi, exclusive member rates, no blackout dates, the ability to use your phone as a room key, and more.

You can earn five times the points when making purchases at Marriott hotels and associated brands, and two points everywhere else you shop. Not only that, this card offers one free hotel stay per year. If you use the added perks, the annual fee almost pays for itself.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see $1,116.69 in Marriott Bonvoy points within their first two years of cardmembership.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card, or loan for at least six years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$120

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when they charge at least $1,500 to their card within the first three months. According to AMEX, that is enough for three free nights at a Category 2 hotel.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: N/A (subject to change without notice)

Rewards:

  • Earn five points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy brands.
  • Earn two points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 150,744 Marriott Bonvoy points
Monetary value = $1356.69
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $240.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,116.69

*This calculation assumes an average of $332.55 is spent at Marriott hotels or associated brands per month.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Free nights at Marriot hotels and associated brands, with no blackout dates. Stays range from 7,500-100,000 points depending on the category of hotel.
  • Transfer points to frequent flyer miles (conditions apply to the point conversion rate).

Insurance:

  • Travel emergency assistance.
  • $500,000 travel accident insurance.
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance.
  • Flight delay.
  • Baggage delay.
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance.
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance.
  • Purchase protection.
  • Buyer’s assurance (extended warranty).

Other perks:

  • Collect an Annual Free Night Award after your account anniversary each year, redeemable within one year from the date issued.
  • Eligible for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you reach $30,000 in net purchases within the year (status will remain for a minimum of one year).
  • Access exclusive Marriott Bonvoy Moments, including opportunities to meet A-list artists, get backstage passes, experience pro golf clinics, and more.
  • Enjoy all that American Express Invites has to offer including advanced access to events, reserved tickets, special offers, and exclusive experiences for all cardmembers.
  • Additional features include emergency card replacement, fraud protection, and 24/7 customer service.

BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

Apply for the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* and start earning one AIR MILE for every $10 you spend. If you regularly shop at AIR MILES partners like LCBO, Rexall, Global Pet Foods, and Metro, you can be rewarded for your loyalty and you aren’t restricted to just one retailer. Find even more partners when shopping through airmilesshops.ca, where you can earn Miles at hundreds of online stores like Amazon, Ticketmaster, and Etsy. There are AIR MILES partners for all your needs including groceries, rental cars, hotels, dining, home renovation, and even car servicing.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see a return of $735 within their first two years of cardmembership.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You've had a credit card, or loan for at least 10 years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$120

*Waived for the primary cardholder for the first year.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn up to an additional 3,000 bonus AIR MILES. Receive the first 1,000 bonus AIR MILES when you make your first purchase using the card. Receive the additional 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of cardmembership. Plus, the annual fee is waived for the primary cardholder for the first year.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: January 15, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $10 in credit card purchases.
  • Earn two times the reward miles at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 6,840 AIR MILES
Monetary value = $855.00
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $120
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $735.00

*We put the value of an AIR MILE at 12.5 cents, however, redemption value varies depending on how you choose to spend your MILES.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel.
  • Merchandise.

Insurance:

  • Purchase assurance.
  • Extended warranty.
  • BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection.

Other perks:

  • Access an exclusive 15% flight discount on all AIR MILES flights in North America (no blackout dates).
  • Receive a complimentary membership in Mastercard Experiences provided by LoungeKey. This includes exclusive VIP access and two annual complimentary passes.
  • Enjoy 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring in Canada, and 20% resident Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas.

A similar option:

For those looking for a similar option with lower approval requirements, check out the BMO® AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*. This card has no annual fee and all the great benefits AIR MILES has to offer.


President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®

PC Mastercard

The President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® rewards loyal PC customers when they shop in-store at Loblaws, the Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart and other partner locations. Or, online at JoeFresh.ca, BeautyBoutique.ca, and PC Express.

Cardholders can earn rewards through their credit card purchases as well as the associated PC Optimum program. These rewards can be redeemed for food, household items, makeup, and almost anything else PC retailers have to offer.

Based on our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will earn nearly $582.72 in rewards in the first two years of cardmembership. Once you have the minimum redemption value of 10,000 points, you can start to redeem them for groceries and merchandise.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card, or loan for at least six years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Promotional interest rate of 0.97% for the first six months, on balance transfers made within 90 days of account approval.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: N/A (subject to change without notice)

Rewards:

  • Earn 10 points for every dollar spent at PC Financial stores.
  • Earn 25 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Earn at least 30 PC Optimum points per litre with Esso Mobil.
  • Earn 20 points per dollar spent on PC Travel.
  • Earn 10 points per dollar on everything else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 582,718 PC Optimum Points
Monetary value = $582.72
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $582.72

*Assuming all groceries are purchased at PC Financial stores, all pharmacy products are purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart, private transportation is through PC Travel, and gas is purchased through Esso Mobil.

You can redeem your points for:

You can cash in your points as soon as you have 10,000 ($10 monetary value) for:

  • Merchandise at participating stores.
  • Online at Beautyboutique.ca, JoeFresh.ca, and Pc Express.

Insurance:

  • Purchase assurance.
  • Extended warranty.

Other perks:

  • Enjoy up to four supplementary cards for family members for free.
  • Mastercard Global Service has cardholders covered in the event of an emergency, replacing lost or stolen cards within 48 hours from anywhere in the world.

A similar option:

For those looking for a similar, albeit more powerful option, the PC Financial World Mastercard®, and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard® offer two to three times the earning potential. However, they have higher income requirements for approval.


SCENE®* VISA* Card

Scotia Scene Visa

The SCENE®* VISA* Card offers movie lovers the opportunity to earn free tickets when making everyday purchases. Earn five times the points when shopping at Cineplex or cineplex.com. Cardholders can even score additional points when scanning their regular SCENE card at the theatre and participating partners.

Earn one SCENE point for every dollar spent using the card and redeem 1,250 points for a free movie or 1,000 points for $10 off at participating restaurants.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see $505 worth of SCENE points within their first two years of cardmembership. That’s a lot of movies!

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card, or loan for at least six years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0 annual fee, plus free supplementary cards.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn 2,500 bonus SCENE points when you make $500 in eligible purchases within the first three months of cardmembership.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: March 1, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn 5 SCENE points per dollar spent at Cineplex theatres or at Cineplex.com.
  • Earn 1 SCENE point per dollar spent everywhere else.

*Earn a maximum of 300 SCENE points per transaction and a daily maximum of 600 SCENE points.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 50,500 SCENE points
Monetary value = $505.00
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $505.00

*Assuming you spend $100 a month at Cineplex or Cineplex.com each month.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Redeem 1,250 SCENE points for a free general movie or 3D movie in a regular auditorium, at Cineplex theatres.
  • Redeem 2,000 SCENE points for a free Enhanced movie ticket (UltraAVX®, IMAX® and DBOX, including those in 3D).
  • Redeem 2,500 SCENE points for a VIP CinemasTM movie ticket.
  • Receive $10 off at participating restaurants when you redeem 1,000 points.

Additional SCENE points can be earned when redeeming movie tickets, up to a maximum of one adult ticket and two child tickets per transaction, two transactions per day.

Insurance:

  • Scotia Credit Card Protection (optional)

Other perks:

  • Save up to 25% off base rates at participating rental car locations (Avis and Budget), across Canada and the U.S. when you pay with your SCENE Visa card.
  • Free supplementary cards for authorized users.

Walmart Mastercard®

Walmart Mastercard

The Walmart Mastercard® rewards regular shoppers with 1.25% back in Walmart Reward Dollars when making purchases in-store and online. Cardholders can collect 1% back when shopping everywhere else.

Walmart Reward Dollars can be redeemed in $5 increments toward purchases at Walmart locations in Canada and Walmart.ca. Points can be used toward groceries, electronics, and other merchandise.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, you could earn $441.99 worth of Walmart Reward Dollars within the first two years of cardmembership.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card, or loan for at least six years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn up to $25 bonus Walmart Reward Dollars. Collect $15 in bonus Walmart Reward Dollars when you make one purchase at Walmart Canada (in-store or online) and one purchase anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Earn an additional $10 in Walmart Reward Dollars when you sign up for electronic statements.

*To qualify for the bonus welcome offer, you must first be approved for a Walmart Rewards Mastercard account in-store or online and make a single purchase of at least $50 the same day you open your account. Offer is only open to new cardmembers.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: December 31, 2019

Rewards:

  • Earn 1.25% back in Walmart Reward Dollars at Canadian locations and at Walmart.ca.
  • Earn 1% back in Walmart Reward Dollars everywhere else you shop.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $441.99 Walmart Reward Dollars
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $441.99

*Assumes all grocery and pharmacy purchases are made at Walmart Canada.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Walmart merchandise, in-store at Canadian locations and online (Walmart.ca).

Points can be redeemed in $5 increments.

Insurance:

  • Not applicable.

Other perks:

  • Not applicable.

Shell® CashBack World Mastercard®* from BMO

Shell CashBack World Mastercard from BMO

Apply for the Shell® CashBack World Mastercard®* from BMO and start earning 3% CashBack rewards on every dollar spent at Shell locations in Canada. That means you can start earning money every time you fill up your tank!

This card also features roadside assistance, rental car insurance, and a number of travel insurance coverages.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see a return of $423 cash back within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You've had a credit card, or loan for at least 10 years. You've had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven't opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You've made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$79

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • No welcome offer.

Rewards:

  • Earn 3% CashBack rewards for every dollar you spend at Shell locations in Canada, up to $2,500 in any monthly billing period.
  • Earn 1.25% CashBack rewards on everything else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $581.00
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $158
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $423.00

*Assuming you have made all your gas purchases at participating Shell locations (average $240.48 per month).

You can redeem your points for:

  • Cash back credit to the primary cardholder’s account.

Insurance:

  • Car rental collision damage waiver.
  • Flight delay.
  • Baggage insurance.
  • Purchase protection.
  • Extended warranty.

Other perks:

  • Access roadside assistance through the Dominion Automobile Association (DAA) and their BMO Roadside Assistance Program.

Triangle™ Mastercard®

Triangle Mastercard

The Triangle™ Mastercard® is perfect for regular customers of Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Rousseau, Hockey Experts, L’Entrepôt du Hockey and participating Mark’s/L’Équipeur and Sports Experts stores. Canadian Tire customers can also earn more Triangle Rewards when scanning their regular loyalty program card when making purchases.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian can earn an additional $257.17 in Canadian Tire Money over the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Unknown.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • No welcome offer.

Rewards:

  • Earn four percent back in Canadian Tire Money at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Rousseau, Hockey Experts, L’Entrepôt du Hockey and participating Mark’s/L’Équipeur and Sports Experts stores.
  • Earn five cents per litre in Canadian Tire Money at Gas+ and participating Husky gas stations.
  • Collect Canadian Tire Money everywhere else you shop.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $257.17 Canadian Tire Money
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $257.17

*Assuming $100 a month is spent on the card monthly at eligible retailers.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Merchandise at Canadian Tire stores and select partner locations such as Mark’s and Sport Chek. AIR MILES Stage Pass.

Insurance:

  • Not applicable.

Other perks:

  • Access member-only events and receive personalized offers from some of your favourite brands.
  • Enjoy no-receipt returns at participating Canadian Tire locations and partner stores.
  • No fee, no interest financing options available on purchases above $200 at participating retailers, in-store and online.

A similar option:

For those looking for a similar option, the Triangle™ World Elite Mastercard® has a slightly higher earning potential. This card also features roadside assistance, extended warranty insurance, and a 24/7 concierge service.


Be Rewarded for Your Brand Loyalty

If you stick to the same shops, gas stations, entertainment, or retailers, you may want to start earning rewards for those purchases. Many of your favourite brands have rewards credit cards that offer discounts, free merchandise, or cash back, for shopping the way you already do.

Even better, loyalty program credit cards can often be combined with existing retailer rewards cards. This means you can earn more points with every purchase.

Compare credit cards at Rates.ca to find a credit card that earns rewards based on your routine shopping habits.